Everyone knows the old adage "you're as young as you feel." But that doesn't make the widening disconnect between what you see in the mirror and how you "feel" any easier to accept. We asked our Facebook fans about their tried-and-true tricks for looking and feeling young. And they put forth a myriad of suggestions. "I wash my face and neck once a week with sugar and olive oil. I'm 57 and only have two frown line wrinkles," said Beth Ann Roberts. Another reader, Christine Boone, noted: "I use a coffee and sugar body scrub and it really works! Besides, it smells divine."
But beyond the little individual things we all do to look and feel our best, there also are some scientifically backed anti-aging lifestyle choices that seem to really work. Here are just five of them below.
Exercise, exercise and exercise
In May 2014, findings from the longest-running clinical trial on the relationship between physical activity and aging were revealed, naming exercise as one of the best ways to prevent the loss of mobility that often accompanies old age. But how, exactly, does exercise keep you young? Exercise builds bone mass -- which is a good thing for anyone not wanting to break a hip or anything else due to weakness. In addition, exercise makes your heart more efficient. When you're active, your heart rate goes up so that more oxygen can be circulated. Exercise also increases blood flow, which helps your brain; it also helps your brain release serotonin, which is known for its role in fighting depression. Need we say more? Grab those gym shoes and get moving!
Get enough sleep
Studies have long showed a link between inadequate sleep and cognitive troubles. But more recently research has also found that sleep deprivation can cause your skin to age faster. Indeed researchers found that those who didn't sleep well exhibited more fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced skin elasticity. The researchers also found that those who enjoyed quality sleep were more quick to recover from stressors to the skin such as sun and environmental toxins. The amount of sleep one needs depends on your age; most experts recommend adults get between seven and eight hours of shut-eye a night.
Develop a positive attitude
Ask people if they think a positive mental outlook is important and most of them will say yes. And they'd be right. At least one recent study has found that those who see aging as an opportunity are more active, social and successful than those who don't. Positive people also live an average of 7.5 years longer. In addition, researchers studying longevity said last month that those who feel a sense of purpose and direction in life may indeed live longer, no matter what their age. Our readers agree. "Anti-aging advice? A life full of love, laughter, compassion and helping others. Not taking things or yourself too seriously. Celebrate the gift of growing older and staying young at heart and never stop learning or trying new things," said Facebook fan Kimberly Minton Freeman.
Eat the right foods
People around the world have long marveled at the Japanese, who are more likely to reach 100 than residents of other countries, a phenomenon that many experts believe is linked to their diet. So is eating wisely really the key to staying young? It looks that way. Green tea, for example, has been shown to reduce risk of death by up to 26 percent for those who consumed several cups a day. Another study found that eating nuts everyday also helps you live longer. Yet another study found that a diet rich in omega-3s may help preserve your telomeres, and slow down the aging process. Telomeres are the ends of your chromosomes that shrink with age. In general, it appears you can reduce your risk of suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease by simply watching what you eat.
Enjoy more sex
Studies show that regular sex can make you look at least seven years younger -- and make you healthier as well. Research has found that those who have sex exhibit lower blood pressure than those who don't. Sex also has been found to boost your immune system as well as cut a man's risk of heart disease in half. Finally, the endorphins released during sex can make you feel more relaxed, which could help you sleep better. Enough said!